By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Re Jon Caramanica's "Stupid White Men" [June 30-July 6]:
I cannot believe that Caramanica so thoroughly trashed the Beastie Boys in his review. Dissing them was bad enough, but that's not the point. The reasons Caramanica gives for his dislikes of the album are directly contradicted by the Beasties' history, the album itself, and his own arguments. The combination seems less like an objective appraisal than a strained justification of the reviewer's own peeves about what hip-hop ought to sound like.
Lower East Side
Re Ed Halter's "The Big Ones" [July 7-13]:
Michael Moore is the only real hero we have right now in this country. His courageous honesty is more than admirable, and it is beyond materialistic morality-based marketing. His documentary-making talents do not just speak to the left-wing base, but to all who feel privileged to live in America.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Re Gary Indiana's "Wonder When You'll Miss Me" [June 30July 6]:
Thank you, Gary Indiana, for defending Bill Clinton's My Life. You put into words the feelings that so many of us have been harboring toward this administration and the Bush dynasty. Barbara DeStevens
Rocky River, Ohio
Indiana writes damn well. He speaks his mind, tells it the way it isall in the most beautiful, kickass style I have read in eons. I congratulate you for having the balls to publish it for all of us to read. The mainstream media kisses ass and you are its antidote. Keep this colt on the racetrack.
San Marcos, Texas
Light at the End of the Nightmare
Indiana's article is the most thrilling evisceration of our current White House occupant-squatter and the long three-and-a-half-years-and-counting nightmare we are living in that I have ever read. Just brilliant. And even though the news is all bad, I found his article is just slightly comforting, knowing someone out there can express what is happening so well.
Missing the Point
Chuck Eddy's "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" [July 713]:
What a horrible piece. It will be the one major review of Some Kind of Monster to totally miss the boat. The whole point of the movie was the total deconstruction of all clichés that have ever surrounded any rock band. Mission accomplished.
I too have been disappointed with Metallica's music. The last album I bought was the Black Album in 1991, but this movie is absolutely directed toward nonmetal fans and film critics, probably even more so than toward their devoted fans. That's why there is relatively little music and very little concert footage.
Chuck Eddy replies: A Night in the Ruts, Rock in a Hard Place, and Done With Mirrors are way better than you remember. You oughta check em out sometime.
Re Jennifer Gonnerman's "A Question of Justice" [June 30July 6]:
ODonoghue's case is a sad one, and it all began with his lack of education. The drug laws may be harsh, but he was breaking the law repeatedly and dealing larger and larger amounts. He had a chance to work with law enforcement and turned it down. It sounds as if he bought into the street culture, and he's becoming a rock-solid member now that he's in prison.
Don't Shoot the Messenger
The real question that Gonnermans article should ask is who supplied Ashley with that amount of cocaine, and why wasn't the supplier investigated? Are the police only interested in low-level delivery boys?
Gonnerman's piece feels at first like the same old story: Black troubled kid takes the fall while white rich kids get off easy. With a classic scenario like this, it's easy to get cynical about society and criminal "justice" in America.
But I can't get cynical, because I know that the authorities involved know better. It was their decision to punish Ashley O'Donoghue while letting the white boys who employed his services to go free. There is nothing in New York law that says they had to go easy on these men.
If their lives are "ruined" because of their choice to purchase drugs, let them live with this reality. O'Donoghue sure has to live with his, as do the people who love him. I challenge anyone who supports this racist, classist system to explain how the sufferings of this family ensure justice.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Obviously we need to rethink our drug laws, but as long as any political candidate is forced to prove his "law and order" credentials, this will not change. When fresh-faced young white kids start getting 16-to-life sentences for dealing small amounts of drugs, you'll see things change quickly!
Larraine L. Formica
It is a clear understatement that there are laws for the rich and laws for the poor. I question how serving this amount of time will benefit the defendant. Couldn't the taxpayers' money have been more prudently spent trying to rehabilitate him with fewer years in prison and more drug education programs, as well as community service?
Denise Martin Fresno, California